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long term potentiation

Hemidactylus at my-dejanews.com Hemidactylus at my-dejanews.com
Sat Oct 10 03:38:46 EST 1998

In article <6vmh3d$gom at sjx-ixn6.ix.netcom.com>,
  flefever at ix.netcom.com(F. Frank LeFever) wrote:
> This is a strange query.  My first impulse is to say that if
you want
> to know what relevance LTP has for medicine and health you
have no
> business studying LTP.

My main interest is in LTP. The health relatedness is secondary. I'm
exploring the idea (perhaps flawed) that LTP and Alzheimer's have a
commonality due to the involvement of both in the perforant pathway
projection from the entorrhinal cortex to CA1 area of hippocampus (or are
they tied perhaps in some other way?). This might be a wrong turn and it
probably glosses over much of the complexity of AD. Again my main interest is
in LTP itself. I did notice that Bliss and Lomo (1973) looked at effects of
stimulation of perforant path fibers in their historical research on LTP.

> My impression over many years that people (and government
> throwing time and money at "practical questions" almost never discover
> anything relevant either to basic science OR to the practical question.

I'm not working for a government agency. I'm just a lowly student. I too
believe in basic research. Basic research tends perhaps to be overlooked by
those looking for quick answers and applications. But this discussion is
tangential to this thread.

> LTP is an electrophysiological phenomenon which is explored
> at molecular levels because some think it is a model for very
> processes underlying memory formation.  Do you think memory
> is relevant to health isssues?

Maybe, if along the line of degeneration of memory or AD or something along
those lines. Maybe there is a relation to learning problems. I'm just
throwing ideas out so I can get (hopefully positive or at least
non-combative) feedback. Not looking to step on any toes. As I learn more, I
hope to contribute more. My interests are broader than LTP, it's just what
I'm concentrating on at the moment. My fave subjects involve evolutionary
developmental biology and possible overlap in neuroscience (Hox genes etc.),
but I'll wait until I get a better grasp on those issues before making a fool
of myself. I'm a newbie here, so please be gentle. I have loved neuroscience
for some time though. I've done research papers in various clases on subjects
as diverse as Seasonal Affective Disorder/Phototherapy and Neuroimaging (PET,
MRI, EEG). Its been awhile and I'm polishing the rust off some of those
memories, since I've been sidetracked with tons of non-neuro classes.

> A synapse is a site/structure where one neuron communicates
to another
> via a chemical messenger.  Without synapses, our brains
wouldn't work.
> Maybe this would be a health issue.
> There is no end to the list of physiological phenomena which
> implications for medicine and health.  Why pick on LTP?
Because I've had curiousity about this area. Curiosity is the
handmaiden of science, or something like that. I'm learning
about ancillary ideas also (e.g.- Hebb's postulate on synaptic
efficiency and maybe even Hebb's cell assembly ideas). I enjoy
history of science as much as cutting edge. From what I gather
the antecedents to LTP might go way back in history, to
Aristotle's laws of association, but that is a tangential
tidbit no doubt. I'm taking plenty of valuable time following
the Hebb angle. I think those in the past who contributed to
various fields need to be remembered, as a matter of respect.
> Before you ask for "the hottest ideas floating around in the
> literature", ask yourself what you are interested in, and at
> level.  READ some of those articles about LTP.  Ask yourself
if this is
> really what you are interested in.

I am reading, mostly review books (e.g. _Synaptic Plasticity_ (1993) edited
by Baudry, Thompson and Davis, _Plasticity in the Central Nervous System:
Learning and Memory_(1995) edited by McGaugh Bermudez-Rattoni, and
Prado-Alcala, and _Long Term Potentiation: A Debate of Current Issues_ (1991)
edited by Baudry and Davis). The more I read, the more interested I become.
Sorry for the enthusiasm. I'm reading the Bliss and Lomo (1973) paper. I'm
planning on going to the library this weekend to follow interesting leads
(entorhinal perforant pathway projection to CA1, NMDA receptor
characterization, LTP at protein or genetic level, arachidonic acid, NO,
associative LTP...). I realize this might be old hat, but I'm trying to
unravel the complexity of the issue.

> If you are really interested in "health related issues",
perhaps you'd
> do better with "public health" publications, etc.
> For me, personally, a hot idea is that NO can facilitate or
block LTP,
> depending on when/where/how it is produced...
I get the impression that there might be some unresolved
conflicts over the focus of LTP. Are you implying that NO data
is ambiguous or that NO effects are condition specific? I
(realizing this is tangential) find that NO's involvement in
respiratory burst in macrophages/neutrophils and putative role
in LTP is really interesting. How many varied processes in physiological
function does NO synthase possibly tie into? Sorry for the
Scott Chase (note followups at anthym at webtv.net)

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